Choosing an Occupation code
Any sponsor that wants to sponsor a worker must ensure that the work that the individual will carry out is a skilled role and that the most relevant occupation code is selected. Occupation codes are set out in the Immigration Rules.
The occupation codes are based on a system designed by the Office for National Statistics and are designed to cover all possible jobs. In the majority of circumstances, in order for an individual to qualify for sponsorship, the role must be at a specific skill level.
The occupation codes set out the appropriate salary for each role along with example job titles that are associated with the role.
The occupation codes list various different salaries depending on whether or not tradeable points are available. New entrants are defined in the Sponsor Guidance and typically relate to workers who are at the start of their career. You can find out more about the salary calculation here.
Choosing the right occupation code
When choosing an occupation code, sponsors should try and find the closest match.
If the job for which a sponsored worker is required is a closer match to an ineligible lower skilled role, or if the salary to be paid is too low, then the sponsor will not be able to employ a sponsored worker in the role.
The occupation codes may be updated. Sponsors should therefore always check that a code that has previously been used is still the most appropriate for the role when sponsoring a new worker.
Implications of choosing the wrong occupation code
If the occupation code selected is not one that is eligible for sponsorship, this will result in the individual’s application for permission to enter or remain in the UK being refused.
If the occupation code selected is one that is eligible for sponsorship, but it is not one that is suitable for the role then this could result in complications further along the sponsorship process.
If the wrong occupation code has been selected as a genuine error, it may be possible to rectify this. However, if the Home Office is of the opinion that the incorrect code was selected in order to enable sponsorship, as the correct code would not have met the salary or skill level required, then it is possible that the sponsor licence could be suspended whilst the Home Office investigate further.
Choosing an occupation code: How we can help
Our immigration experts are able to provide advice and guidance in relation to selecting an appropriate occupation code and sponsoring workers.
If your organisation requires legal assistance in this area or would just like to discuss your situation with a member of our team on a no-obligation basis, please contact us.